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  • J.Pluta
    replied
    Sweet irony

    During and just after WWII, direct military intervention by the United States resulted in democracies in Italy, Germany, Japan and South Korea. All of these are doing just fine, thank you. Since then, the continuing example of democratic prosperity has brought the number of democratic governments worldwide to 120, with half of them forming in the last 10 years or so. Nearly 2/3 of the world's countries are now democratic, and nearly 60% of the population (75% of the population that doesn't reside in China). This is a staggering figure. Three out of four people who do not live in China live in a democracy. And the number continues to rise. Suffice it to say that it's awfully rare that a people, when given the choice, do NOT select self-governance. Normally the only folks who want a non-pluralistic government are the ones who would be in charge. Joe

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  • J.Pluta
    replied
    Sweet irony

    "I feel confident stating that I believe we would be in far far worse shape without [the UN]." An opposing view, from Iraq, who I think is probably the country most suited to have an opinion right now: With the recent capture of Hussein, Iraq's foreign minister recently addressed the UN security council. Hoshyar Zebari's comments about the UN and those countries on the security council that supported Hussein were interesting. Full quote: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...l_031216185735 Excerpts: --------- One year ago, the Security Council was divided between those who wanted to appease Saddam Hussein and those who wanted to hold him accountable. ... The UN as an organisation failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny of 35 years. The UN must not fail the Iraqi people again. ... Settling scores with the United States-led coalition should not be at the cost of helping to bring stability to the Iraqi people. Squabbling over political differences takes a back seat to the daily struggle for security, jobs, basic freedoms and all the rights the UN is chartered to uphold. --------- Zebari also took Kofi Annan to task for pulling the UN out of Iraq. Annan, who publicly opposed the US decision to launch the war after failing to win the support of the Security Council, said it was "no time to pin blame and point fingers" over the past. "I think the UN has done as much as it can for Iraq," Annan told reporters. "So quite honestly I don't think today is the time to hurl accusations." Remember that the UN doesn't even have a presence in Iraq right now; they pulled all their personnel. How can we seriously expect the UN to take a significant role when they are too afraid to step foot in the country? The UN has made an embarrassment of itself throughout this affair. Joe

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  • J.Pluta
    replied
    Sweet irony

    "Every day, it was WMD WMD WMD. Many in congress who would have been opposed to the war, were convinced that there was a WMD threat, and voted for military action, based solely upon a threat to the nation from WMDs." Those Congressmen were weenies. Me, and most of the people I know, supported deposing Hussein for gassing his own people, for lying to weapons inspectors, for supporting terrorism, and for a number of other reasons, all of which amounted to him basicaly being a genocidal tyrant in control of the fifth largest army in the world. That ought to be enough for anybody, but hey what can you do. Perhaps a certain number of the more appeasement oriented congressmen needed to hear WMD, but these are the same idiots who say we need to bring in foreign IT workers. In the neighborhoods around me, we'er all pretty comfortable that Hussein was deposed. And another issue: Iraq had WMD. This is a fact (he used them on Iran and on his own people). And Hussein historically has been willing to both bury his weapons and give them to neighboring countries when he was worried about losing them. The really scary thing is that we don't know where his WMD program went. What we're trying to determine is not whether they had WMD, but where they went. Anyway, I'm pretty comfortable with the concept. If someone can give me one good reason to NOT depose Hussein, I'm all ears. And finally, you can complain all you want about the Great Government Conspiracy, but until you can point to one administration in the last 30 or 40 years that HASN'T lied to the people, I'm pretty much going to tune you out. Joe

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Sweet irony

    Chris said: "As much as I like living in a democracy and will fight to preserve our way of life...I can't say categorically that democracy is for everyone. To presume that it is, is....presumptious." My sentiments exactly. A democracy isn't for every country. chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Sweet irony

    Mosquitos are something I know alot about. Fire ants too. Try to not swing your stick at em. They will over run you and you will become submissive. Dictators are blood sucking power hungry just like mosquitoes, let them have free run of the place and you become submissive, like it or not, feel good or bad about it, hope it goes away or not they will overrun you. Unless you have that stick, AND are willing to use it. I'm asking a question again. Do you have something against democracy? Does it look to you that the average Iraqi was okay with the regime that was removed? I think we focus on Democracy because of that line of people waiting (at least some wait) and some literally dieing (Cubans right off the top), to get into this country and not the other way around (it is mostly simple). I lived in Europe for a year back in the mid seventies. I always thought before that, that they would be similar to the USA. Not a chance, all some form of socialism, and I had people from every country I visited express their desire to leave their homeland and go to America to live, and not because the UN is over here.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Sweet irony

    I think the people in Iraq aren't sure what they want. They know they don't want Saddam calling the shots nor do they want some American calling the shots. Our form of democracy works for us (okay I know that is debatable) but who is to say it will work for everyone. I think we need to be willing to accept that Iraq may not want to form a government similar to ours. We need to let them decide what is best for them no one likes to be told what to do and how to do it.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Sweet irony

    What happens if the people in Iraq don't want a democracy
    Then they can vote against it! ;-) Brian P.S. Chris and all, thanks for this interesting discussion!

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  • cwscholbe@dstsystems.com
    replied
    Sweet irony

    You don't change the way people think by military invasion. Having said that, I hope that the people in Iraq feel as though they can start installing a system that will be prosperous for all. The military has never changed what people think...they have only attempted to install a form of conformity. And this usually fails in the long term. We can see this in the resistance movements in all wars dating a long way back. Mosquitos are small and we attack them with big sticks....are we winning that battle? We are so focused on democracy. What happens if the people in Iraq don't want a democracy, at least as we are used to it? Are we willing to accept that?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Sweet irony

    It usually is the simple things that get you. How do we get those leaders to get bent democratic? Simple, We don't. The people in those countries have to do it themselves, just like we did over two hundred years ago. You can't install a democracy. Of the people is how. If the people of Iraq or of wherever don't embrace democracy how can it work. They have to want to be free and willing to pay the price forever. I didn't say the UN was failing because of people choosing to come here. I said that supporting the UN in its current incarnation supports the status quo, of dictators and their firm grip and oppressive living conditions, which drive people here, so why support that system. That seems mighty simple to me. This is funny and simple to me: Dictators voting on removing other dictators. Or: Countries voting on sanctions on a country that they are currently selling weapons to. How can I take this serious? We are at war. Not peacetime vigilance. Do you remember 911. These individuals had multi country backing. Some that our government has been less than truthful about so far. And some that are paying a steep price as we speak. And it ain't over. How do you make the world safe? Hope the good guys have the bigger stick.

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  • cwscholbe@dstsystems.com
    replied
    Sweet irony

    So the question still remains. What do we do to make our world a safe place to live? You said "And I don't think it has a chance until most of the leaders of the world are of a true democratic bent." How do we get these leaders to have a "true democratic bent". And Yes, when it comes to invading another country...I expect a whole lot more information from our government. Your argument that the UN is failing because people are choosing to come to the US is simplistic. The UN is not a country. People are coming here for many reasons, many of which have to do with the government in their country and many of which have to do with the living conditions in their country. When you say we are at war now, I assume that you mean that we must be ever vigilant because of safety concerns. We must ALWAYS be vigilant, the only differnce now is the creativity of the bad guys to cause hurt and death. In that sense, we are always at war...and we should never forget that. We win some of the battles but the war continues.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Sweet irony

    I asked to find out who I was dealing with, because if you had answered different I would have went on my way. You do seem to imply that we are not at war now. I believe we are. I believe we are in much more danger as individuals in the present war then when we were in the cold war. It is good the cold war is over, the big stick is the reason it is over. We are in a war now where we are on the top of target and the only world power with a big enough stick to fight back. And I am glad we are fighting it right now somewhere else. By the way I do think that WMD's were definitely 'part' of the reason for going into Iraq. I can't see the problem here, since the WMD's were documented by the UN, and verbally acknowledged by even President Clinton. And I believe this will be justified down the road. What ever happen to national security. Do any of you really believe total honesty and openess will win a war. Why did I have a security clearance, then? Wars are fought with words as well as bullets. Somebody help me out here. I remember seeing a picture of one of the 911 terrorists in a face to face meeting with an Iraq intelligence officer shortly before the attack? Am I the only one who remembers this? Am I losing it? Do those dots connect? Do you think our leadership should tell us blow by blow what they intend to do and why? I for one don't. I think I voted to let them do their thing for 4 years. If at the end of that time I don't like what they have done, out they go. If only the Iraqis had had that option, what do you think? Humanitarian goals and the UN probably work because the USA probably pays more than its share. Military goals don't seem to work, probably because of the personal motivation of most of the worlds leaders. I state again: People (not leaders) of plenty of countries are lined up to come here....(in effect choosing the USA, not the UN). If the UN is the answer why do they want to come here. The UN might have been a good idea. It just doesn't seem to work. And I don't think it has a chance until most of the leaders of the world are of a true democratic bent.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Sweet irony

    we would be in far far worse shape without it.
    I agree, and I'm not one who calls for disbanding it. But in this case, the UN didn't act to enforce its own rules. Brian

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  • David Abramowitz
    replied
    Sweet irony

    Brian Singleton wrote: the UN is working to make itself obsolete For two years, I sang in the UN Choir. As part of the process, I learned a great deal about the UN. There are a great many charitable and humanitarian efforts that are undertaken by the UN, that otherwise may not be done at all. These are fully funded highly organized efforts. The U.N. quietly takes a peacemaking role in many conflicts, most are only briefly mentioned (if at all) on the 6:00 news. Yes, the U.N. has some very serious problems, and yes many nations forget about the U.N. charter, but taking a more comprehensive, and informed view, I feel confident stating that I believe we would be in far far worse shape without it. Dave

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  • cwscholbe@dstsystems.com
    replied
    Sweet irony

    What is your alternative to the UN? Create a new body and include only the countries that we like? Sounds like the beginnigs of another cold war to me. I believe that we need to find a way for all countries and peoples to get along...not necessarily be the same. I believe that people should be able to live without fear of their government torturing and killing them. I believe that people shouldn't go hungery. These may be altruistic, but I think they are goals to aspire to and work for. The question is how do we make these things happen? Is military action the ONLY way to address these issues? I think not. What do you suggest?

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  • David Abramowitz
    replied
    Sweet irony

    Chris Scholbe wrote: We were happy to leave Hitler alone as long as he stayed within his own borders. Actually no, , , , , ,,,,, The allies ignored Hitler's invasion of the Rhineland, the Anschluss of Austria, and even blessed (shamefully) the annexation of the Sudetenland. Churchill, a lone voice in the wilderness warned the U.K. about Germany's military build up in violation of the Versailles treaty as early as 1935! It was only because of a mutual defense pack between Poland, France and the U.K. did the Chamberlain government eventually declare a state of war when Germany invaded. Dave

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